What is a Biomedical Engineer?

Biomedical engineers use engineering and life science principles to design and develop medical and clinical equipment. They research human and animal biology to develop theories and facts or to test, prove or modify known theories of life systems.

What might a Biomedical Engineer do in a workday?

Biomedical engineers:

  • design and develop instruments and devices (such as artificial organs, limbs, pacemakers or ultrasound imaging equipment) to help health care personnel observe, diagnose, repair or treat physical ailments or deformities.
  • study the engineering aspects of human systems.
  • plan and conduct research on medical, biological, biochemical or other life systems.
  • develop mathematical models and computer simulations of human biomedical systems.
  • ensure that critical life-support and analysis equipment is designed properly.
  • teach, write and consult; also, some manage laboratories.
  • oversee biomedical equipment maintenance and investigate accidents of equipment failure.
  • advise hospital personnel on purchase and installation of new equipment.
  • Install, adjust, maintain, sell or repair equipment for biomedical equipment manufacturers.
  • train and supervise biomedical equipment technicians and others.
  • maintain and improve environmental quality to protect against toxins and pollutants.

Developing a Career in Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers may work alone or with hospital operating teams, administrators, scientists or other specialists. Most work in medical, academic, industrial and government research laboratories and hospitals.

How much salary do Biomedical Engineers make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Biomedical Engineer?

Students interested in becoming biomedical engineers need to prepare by taking the most challenging high school courses available in science and math, including advanced placement courses.

Generally, those seeking positions in biomedical engineering have college degrees in engineering (four or more years) and may have four or more years of related work experience and/or a master’s or doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. For some, certification also is required.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Biomedical Engineer?

Professional Associations:

Biomedical Engineering Society
8201 Corporate Drive
Suite 1125
Landover, MD 20785-2224

(301) 459-1999

Virginia Biomedical Association
P.O. Box 1958
Yorktown, VA 23692-9998


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